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Sudan Military coup generals decided not to lose long-held power

Khartoum

On Monday protection forces detained civilian leaders, such as Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who have shared power with the army following the ouster of the autocratic president Field Marshal Omar al-Bashir extra than two years ago.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan declared a nation of emergency and dissolved the cabinet, as properly as the ruling Sovereign Council of army and civilian figures which he has led because August 2019.

The Council used to be supposed to pave the way for full civilian rule.

Since its independence from Britain and Egypt in 1956, Sudan has experienced rare democratic interludes, however overwhelmingly years of rule under army leaders.

The latest putsch “looks very much like an attempt by the security forces to preserve control over financial and political interests, and to resist the flip” to a civilian order, stated Jonas Horner of the International Crisis Group.

The army’s move “epitomises their fears” of civilian rule “in a country which used to be under the control of the army for 52 out of its 65 years of independence,” Horner said.

To Magdi el-Gizouli of the Rift Valley Institute “the coup used to be far from surprising”.

The Sovereign Council ruled the country alongside a transitional government led by Hamdok, an economist, however the role of civilian leaders had been receding.

The major civilian bloc, the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) which led anti-Bashir protests, splintered into two opposing factions, one of which held demonstrations in aid of the military.

An ‘engineered’ crisis

Critics alleged those protests have been being pushed by members of the navy and security forces, and concerned counter-revolutionary sympathisers with the former regime.

“The disaster at hand is engineered — and is in the shape of a creeping coup,” mainstream FFC leader Yasser Arman stated two days before the army made its move.

Last month the government said it had thwarted a coup attempt, and Burhan dismissed as “slander” hints that the military was concerned in that manoeuvre.

Ahmed Soliman, an analyst from Britain’s Chatham House think-tank, told the army has resisted full-size reforms including “professionalisation and civilian oversight” of its institutions, as properly as its enterprise interests.

The army dominates profitable groups specialising in everything from agriculture to infrastructure projects.

Hamdok said last year that 80 percent of the country’s public assets have been “outside the finance ministry’s control”, although he did not specify the percentage controlled by the army.

Such “really critical troubles in the transition have fuelled very latest turmoil that is taking area in Sudan and possibly set the stage for this antagonistic takeover by the military,” Soliman said.

The military’s movements are probably to lead to more instability, he added, so “apart from securing their very own interests” it is challenging to know what the officers are trying to achieve, Soliman added.

Protests in opposition to the coup have already led to three deaths on Monday, and there will be “heavy civilian resistance”, Gizouli said.

“The army will have little choice however to crush it by force,” he said.

Gizouli believes Burhan will remain in power for the foreseeable future however may discuss with civilian leaders who remain free, like Foreign Minister Mariam al-Mahdi.

“He still wants a civilian face for the government,” Gizouli said.

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